I don’t usually go for juice… (most of the time, at least recently, I’m hooked on a few fuits)… but not this time…2 Piece Bikini Smoothie Style Drink!

After a 7 hour hectic flight to lovely Thailand, I check out of immigration and the first thing I see is a juice shop. Hmmm, that gott’a perk me up (I’ll skip on coffee, I’m talking fresh juice).

I look down the menu… my eyes slide down the part which says “boost” (they supposedly add some vitamins to these juices)… aha, I’ll have a “2 Piece Bikini (think that’s what it’s called). It’s close to those ice smoothies just filled with fresh juice; blueberries, lynches, apple and a few more.

Next I jump into a taxi and start sipping. Woow, this stuff is good.

Now I’m on a short vacation, but heck no break from fitness. I’m all up for an action filled, adventure-like vacation.

So in 80 minutes I’m at the hotel… 15 minutes later I’m at a lake doing wakeboarding.

Weew, that’s something. I’m talking about a real nice spot; a lake, mellow music, some of asia’s best riders… And I’m there trying to pick up this exciting sport.

Not only do I get plenty of action wakeboarding, there’s also a swimming pool… plus, a small gym 5 minutes away.

So have you taken your summer vacation yet? Or maybe you’re that’s happening soon? What kind fun fitness activities do you plan into your vacations?

Generally, I find that during holidays a little goes a long way. It’s like your body and mind are almost stress-free…. so it responds better.


Have a great summer,

M. Jamal

P.S. Ever been on a vacation where you just didn’t want it to end?

Well, I’ve got that feeling right now as I’m typing this while sitting at a calm lake, some sun – not too hot – and a lot of fresh food (Plus, I’m about to get up and wakeboard again in a minute – yep I fall often, but it’s a great fun addition to my workout… a exciting change from the usual.)

Detraining is the termination of exercise and is a huge concern for professional athletes who get injured. There’s always this fear looming overhead that makes you believe everything you’ve gained from years of exercising will be lost in a matter of weeks.

This fear is manifested in careless acts such as running under a blizzard or pushing through with one’s regular routine despite a burning fever.

The truth is, the effects of detraining are not manifested as soon as you maylady finding time to keep fit think.

Studies have shown that the rate at which many fitness elements go down are about the same as the rate at which they increase.

The myths about detraining:

One of the most common myths we hear about people who stop exercising is that their “muscles will turn into fat.”

This is physiologically impossible, as muscle cells and fat cells are totally different from each other and are structured in different ways. Neither could fat cells “disappear” when exercising and “reappear” during detraining.

What does happen, though, is that muscle cells could atrophy over time and fat cells grow bigger when it is not burned in exercise.

The ill effects of the cessation of exercise also depend on the following factors:

  1. Your level of fitness prior to detraining;
  2. The fitness aspect involved (flexibility, strength, endurance, flexibility, etc.); and
  3. The preventive measures you adopt.

It’s crucial to take preventive measures because although there are no drastic changes to the state of your fitness in the first few days, over the weeks, detraining becomes a health concern.

One of the changes you’d initially notice is tiring easily after a long walk or a stair climb. There would also be a drop in overall energy level, heart fitness, flexibility, and muscle strength if you’re waylaid for about ten weeks.

Additionally, all of the calories you now couldn’t burn would be stored as fat.

As your weight increases, so would your resting heart rate, cholesterol level, and your blood pressure.

And what of the factors that can’t easily be measured?

A few of the psychological effects of detraining are depression, mood swings, and a drop in confidence levels. Remember how endorphins, the feel-good hormones, increase during exercise? You’ll definitely feel their effects (or lack of them) during detraining.

What you can do about it:

It’s much easier to do something about the situation if your detraining is due to injury. If it’s due to laziness, then that’s another story! Below are a few suggestions on how you can compensate for the absence of a regular workout:

  1. Do a couple of weight training sessions each week.
    Lady Quick Workout
    Research has shown that muscle mass and strength can be maintained by just having one weight training session every week. Definitely recommended for those who detrain because of a hectic schedule. Resume your regular sessions as soon as possible.
  2. To prevent gaining weight due to caloric consumption, calculate the approximate amount of calories you used to burn with exercise, and reduce your caloric intake by that same amount.
  3. If you have been doing aerobic workouts, you can cut the usual duration and frequency by half but exercise at the same intensity in order to arrest any loss of stamina.

M. Jamal

Ever had something turn you off (or even ‘tick’ you off) while working out at the gym?

I bet you had.

Whether it’s a small thing that’s easy to ignore… or something that made your workout go downhill… there are things you’d simply wish not to happen every so often.

How about running threw some of the most common things that ‘tick’ me off? Better yet,woman at gym do any of these come up on your list?

Let’s have a look:

  1. The Mirror Syndrome:

    I’ve got no problem with people checking the mirror as they workout and getting all excited as they’re muscles flex and tighten.In fact, at times that can help you get an extra rep or two.It’s just that… well… when someone’s sticking so close to the dumbbells rack, a few inches from hugging the mirror… and well, blocking those dumbbells from everyone else’s reach!

    You ever noticed this? Well, it can get pretty bad when more than one person is doing this!

  2. Trippin’ You At Your Max:

    I usually notice this with workout partners who are just starting out (can’t blame them, yet it can cause some serious problems).

    Here’s the scenario: you’ve just finished two sets of a heavy workout (let’s say squats or dips on the bench). Now you’re focusing on the next set. It’s a heavy set, you’re muscles are sore and you really need to concentrate and get your last set done to completion properly.

    As you get into it… as you start… someone starts talking to you (or asking you some question that could certainly wait for later)!Most times, speaking a few words in the midst of an intense workout is No Option. Sometimes you can end up hurting yourself because you loose focus and coordination.

    I usually ignore the chit chat… answer it when I’m done and mention something about the “focus during workout” to minimize that from happening again.

    If this ever happens (or happened) to you, how do you handle this?

  3. Hugging The Equipment:

    Well, not really “hugging”… just more like wanting to own it for a while.

    Everybody’s gotta’ rest a while between sets… and… with certain equipment (or dumbbells) two people can share it without much impact on your overall workout (sure, there has to be some basic understanding and sync in timing).You guessed it, right?

    It’s the case where someone works out on a resistance machine… rests on the machine… works out on the same machine… rests on the machine with an attitude that no one else can share… and so on.

    There are a few exceptions to this one, but generally speaking, those rest phases can be enough for a second person to workout on the same machine without much problems.

    Another version of this one is working out with dumbbells and simply keeping them besides you even when you’re resting.

Well, that’s probably my top 3 list.

Surely, most of these can be resolved depending where you workout… and… more importantly, the attitude of people who frequent that gym. Moreover, being around a group of like minded people with positive attitudes can actually help drive your workouts further – even when you thought your body was all out and on empty.

Have a great workout,

M. Jamal

P.S. So what’s your top 3 list of things that ‘tick’ you off during your workout? Go on, let us know (hit ‘comment’).

Stretching has long been believed by the Chinese to encourage the free flow of blood and chi (qi, or life force) in our bodies.

Fitness gurus are aware of the fact that stretching fortifies the ligaments and the tendons and can strengthen the bones indirectly. In addition, stretching keeps the mind relaxed.

It has also been practiced for years because it was believed to minimizes exercise-related injury, although the veracity of this latter benefit has been disproved by a few scientific studies.

In the JOPERD article (The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance), “Stretching During Warm-Up: Do We Have Enough Evidence?” the researchers concluded that there was no guarantee that stretching prevents injury during exercise.woman-stretching

However, the authors acknowledged the fact that stretching does have a long-term benefit of decreasing muscle stiffness, resulting in greater dynamic flexibility.

The two short-term effects of stretching reported in the study were a possible decrease in strength before the “supercompensation” or “recovery” training phase (occurs after the body has undergone adequate recovery; during this phase, the individual’s performance level exceeds his performance level during prior to the training), and a temporary improvement in motion range.

In the past, fitness enthusiasts were taught to stretch first before doing warm-ups.

Today, we are advised to first do the warm-ups before stretching.

The reason? Judith Hanna, a senior researcher at the College Park’s University of Maryland, says we need to warm up so we don’t pull anything.

Safe as stretching may look, there are useful tips we could follow once we decide to incorporate stretching into our daily routine.

Tips for safe and effective stretching:

  1. Although a stretching routine is easiest when done in the late afternoon or early evening, they significantly help the chi and blood (which has become sluggish during the night) to flow freely when done in the morning.
  2. Never bounce into a stretch. For instance, when you’re standing and reaching for your toes, let your arms hang instead of bouncing for your tips to reach your toes.
  3. Never stretch too far too fast. Your muscles need to become flexible little by little.
  4. Work with your breath and relax further with every exhalation.
  5. Perform your stretching routine daily to keep your body flexible and supple.
  6. Vary your stretching routine regularly. This not only prevents being “burned out” or what they call “bored out,” but also touches on different muscle groups as well.
  7. Match your stretches with the activity you are about to undertake. Stretching must be geared towards preparing the parts of your body which will be most used during the activity.

And finally, avoid stretching if you are not feeling well; have experienced any recent joint or muscle damage; have a major physical problem of any kind; and have had a recent surgery, injury, or accident.

M. Jamal

P.S. Here’s a resource that’ll help you make those stretching sessions more fun… and get the most out it: check it out.

Unless you’re in the cast of the TV series Survivor, it’s unlikely that you won’t gain some weight during a vacation.

This is what fitness trainers fear most – their clients leaving for a short trip and coming back only to have gained all the pounds they’ve lost in 3 months.

When we’re on vacation, our resolutions are tossed out to sea.

We meet with relatives and friends who take us to the best local restaurants. We drink and party until the wee hours of the morning. And if it’s a business trip or seminar, there’s a big chance that we’d be eating at buffets and sitting behind a desk all day.

Of course, you’re allowed some leeway since you’re on vacation, anyway. But just to make sure you won’t be charged for “extra baggage” around your waist, try practicing these four helpful tips on your next journey:

  1. Take advantage of the hotel’s freebies. ladies-summer-holiday

    An accommodation most likely includes use of the pool, sauna, and gym.

    Use these to your benefit!A few easy laps at the pool in the morning is perfect if you don’t want to get into something too strenuous before a business meeting.

    When you’re back at the hotel after a long day, spend a few minutes on the treadmill. It’s the perfect equalizer for the huge pasta plates you’ll be having during power lunches.

  2. Participate in fun activities.

    Vacations involve a lot of action so you need not lie in the hotel bed with a huge sundae watching HBO.

    Before you embark on your trip, make one resolution: You’re going to learn a new sport.There are tons of new sports coming out each year that you’re likely to find one you haven’t tried yet. Para sailing, wall climbing, whitewater rafting – the list is endless. Even a game of catch with a Frisbee at the beach can keep your waistline trim and buff.

  3. Avoid sleeping right after meals. Okay, so it’s a vacation! You’re supposed to have a good time and be able to indulge in comfort food – it only happens occasionally, anyway.

    If you plan on “binging,” if you’ll call it that – then at least wait a few hours for your body to metabolize what you’ve just eaten.

    Typically, we feel sleepy right after lunch and give in to an afternoon siesta. This can be avoided by fixing a schedule wherein you would need to participate in some light physical activity right after lunch or dinner.

    In addition, eat what you want if you must, but try taking several light meals instead of three huge meals every day.

  4. Keep walking. It’s recommended for any age and fitness level.Take in the sights. Go on a cycling tour instead of a bus tour. Walk to the souvenir shops instead of taking a taxi.

    If you’re having dinner at a restaurant outside of the hotel, walk the distance. The great thing about walking while on vacation is that you won’t feel forced about exercising while you’re on break!

    Make sure you pack a comfortable pair of walking shoes with you. You can also phone a friend who lives in the vicinity and ask him or her to walk with you – it’s a great way to keep in touch without altering your business or vacation schedule.

M. Jamal

P.S. What’s your favorite way to make sure you don’t add pounds during a vacation? Click ‘comment’ and let us know…